tv Nightly Business Report PBS December 17, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
>> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening everyone. i'm susie gharib. with just 15 days to go, the president and house speaker boehner, meet again for negotiations on the fiscal cliff. with new taxes for millionaires now on the table, are the talks reaching a new level? >> tom: i'm tom hudson. what happens to stock prices if we go over the cliff, what could higher taxes and government spending cuts mean for your portfolio? >> susie: and sprint agrees to pay just over $2 billion to buy the rest of cellular technology company clearwire it doesn't already own. >> tom: that and more tonight on "n.b.r."! >> susie: president obama and house speaker boehner met for new negotiations today. after the 45 minute meeting, the
white house said "more needs to be done," and boehner's camp said the president is receptive to the new concessions. they include, dropping opposition to the president's demand for higher taxes on the wealthiest americans and an automatic extension of the federal debt limit. it was the third face-to-face meeting between the president and boehner in eight days. darren gersh has the latest. >> reporter: house speaker john boehner wasn't talking after meeting with the president today. but his offer to raise taxes on those making more than a million dollars a year was taken as a sign that some progress is being made to avoid the fiscal cliff. former clinton budget director alice rivlin expects the final deal will play out in two steps. first the president and the speaker agree on some numbers. >> how much do we need over ten years from taxes and some specifics about how we get them. but not too many. and how much do we need to take out of the major entitlement programs to slow the growth and
then they will kick it to the next congress-- but not kick it so much as instruct the next congress to bring back a plan that will meet those numbers. >> reporter: entitlement spending is a key sticking point. republicans complain democrats have already ruled out savings from social security and they are taking many options for medicare savings off the table. >> from a republican point of view, wanting something that is really structural in nature to bend the cost-curve over time, i think something like eligibility age is probably a must-have for republicans to vote for a tax increase. >> reporter: if the two-step process doesn't come together in the next few days, house republicans could move on to plan b. that could mean the house passes the senate tax bill the president has urged them to take up. it extends the bush tax cuts for the middle class for a year. it raises the capital gains rate to 20%, and it patches the
a.m.t. so millions of americans remain exempt. but, that leaves a lot of unfinished work. automatic spending cuts will still take effect next year. the payroll tax holiday will expire and emergency unemployment benefits would lapse. markets won't like that. >> so its more of the same. more uncertainty. another important deadline coming up. it will be the focus and to the extent that anybody is on the sidelines now because of this uncertainty over washington, this kind of deal isn't going to fix any of that for them. and hope for a done deal by the holiday is fading fast. senate majority leader harry reid said today he expects the senate will be back to work the day after christmas. darren gersh, "n.b.r.," washington. >> tom: optimism that speaker boehner's latest offer could get the fiscal cliff talks moving again, helped stocks move nicely higher: the dow rose 100 points, the nasdaq added 39, the s&p up almost 17 points.
but with time running out to reach a deal, what happens on wall street, if we go over the cliff? suzanne pratt reports. >> reporter: one thing is for sure, wall street can count. that means investors know there are just nine trading days left until tax hikes automatically take effect across the nation, and hit americans where it hurts: their wallets. and, investors are also aware there are even fewer days before lawmakers are scheduled to leave on holiday break. despite the ticking clock, many investors remain optimistic there will be a deal between congress and the white house before the ball drops in time square. veteran trader jonathan corpina agrees there will soon be a resolution, but he thinks the news will be a big ho-hum for stocks. >> i think the sentiment of a deal solution is already priced into our market right now. so, what does that really mean. when we get news that a deal is in place or partially in place will we get a huge upswing in
the market. i don't think so, i think it's already been priced in. >> reporter: other market pros are less sanguine about an agreement in the next few days. even with signs of progress in washington today, they worry there's simply too little time left. >> personally i'm not that optimistic that we're going to see a deal before yearend and i don't think the market is either pick up. as far as everything finalized by december 31, i don't think that is going to happen. and, if there's no deal by yearend, coupled with negative talk about the effects on the economy, stock investors should watch out. in that scenario, some market pros think stocks could suffer a correction of 10% or more. still, it could be a chance for some bargain hunting. >> i think if we do see a sell- off were going to use that as opportunity to step and at least put a little bit of sideline money that our clients have and they have a lot to work. >> reporter: wren has no hesitation recommending his clients use any dip as a buying
opportunity. that's because he's confident there will be a deal on the fiscal cliff in janaury. suzanne pratt, "n.b.r.," new york. >> susie: from grandma's cookies to holiday gifts for the little ones, still ahead we're riding along with u.p.s. as the shipping giant kicks off its busiest week of the year. >> tom: two mildly encouraging words were used by a group of economists to describe what next year may bring: stable and moderate. that's the 2013 outlook from the national association of business economics. the organization figures the u.s. economy will grow 2.1%, driven by housing and construction, but with corporate profit growth slowing down. nayantara hensel is the chairman of the national association for business economics. not bad, moderate, stable but certainly not robust here s it? >> no, that's absolutely right, tom. basically again we're
forecasting annual average real gdp growth at 2.1% but the good news is we expect it to accelerate during the course of the year, perhaps reach being 3% by the fourth quarter of 2014. >> tom: what is going to add to that growth considering, is it being held back in the first six months because of the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. in fact, if you take a look at the panelist forecast on a quarterly basis they suggest real gdp growth will be 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013 but will jump by the second quarter of 2013 to about 2.4%. i think some of that is definitely being held back by a lot of the concerns that resolution is important of the tax and the spending plans. and about 90% of our panelists forecast that sequestration will be deferred and be sometime in the first, going into the second quarter of next year that we start to get greater clarity on these issues which will improve business and consumer confidence. >> tom: are they optimistic for a big bargain considering that if we kick the can down the road now
that is exactly when we will have this debate again right, into the first quarter, beginning of the second quarter? >> i would say that on balance our panelists are optimistic about some sort of a clear outcome emerging am but again t will be emerging, i think, gradually during the course of 2013 with some significant improvements occurring between the first and second quarter of 2013. >> tom: most noteworthy i found was how important housing is back now, back in the front. how important is that to have housing construction back adding to growth as opposed it to being a drag? >> oh, i think that housing is very important especially when you consider that really in essence our whole financial crisis was linked to the housing market. our panelists suggest that residential investments will grow at about 12% next year. they're forecasting some improvement in housing starts next year and also they forecast that home prices will increase 3.5% next year which is a real improvement from the 2.9% drop we saw in 2011 so this is definitely a good time. >> but they don't forecast that dropping down to
consumption, so consumer growth is not going to be all that robust despite the fact we're seeing home prices grow again. >> that's right, our panelists are forecasting relatively flat consumption growth at about 2%. some improvement in certain areas like light vehicle sales that increase will continue over time. but really, in terms of you know, purchases other than houses or light vehicles, consumption is expected to be relatively flat. i think part of the moderate and stable. i think part of the reason why we're likely on the part of the panelists to see continued improvement in the housing market is that mortgage rates, panelists expect, will continue to remain low. >> tom: we'll leave it there, nayantara hensel, the chairman of the national association for business economics. >> thank you very much, tom.
>> susie: if you haven't ordered your christmas gifts yet, you better hurry. today is the last day to get them delivered in time for christmas, with standard shipping. more than 1,700 online merchants are offering free shipping today, as part of a "free shipping day" marketing event. today also kicks off the busiest delivery week for u.p.s.: over 135 million packages are heading out on those brown trucks this week. the carrier has hired 55,000 temporary helpers to ease the load. so what does it take to be a u.p.s. driver? erika miller spent a morning finding out. >> reporter: if you want to know santa's true helpers, they're people like tony roshdy. i met up with him recently at 9 a.m., both of us dressed in brown polyester. >> you ready to do some work?
>> reporter: i am ready! by then, most of the packages had already been loaded on the truck: is there a strategy to loading up the truck? >> there's definitely a strategy. like every building. let me give you an example. i already know that this is 31 west 27th. i don't even have to look at it. i'm going to go over here, it's gonna say 31 west 27th. >> reporter: typically at this time of year, how many packages are in your truck? >> i'm averaging somewhere between 300 an 380, on a regular basis. but that's only the delivery portion. >> reporter: but, suprisingly, there's no special treatment for fragile items: >> you can't sit there and say this is fragile, i'm going to treat it different. because that means you're treating your other boxes unprofessional. you have to treat every box as if it was fragile. >> reporter: now it's time to do a safety check. >> i'll check my horn, my windshield wipers, my signals, and then we are off. >> reporter: in most of america, u.p.s. drivers spend a lot of time behind the wheel. not tony. he parks his truck less than two miles away for the whole day.
>> i prefer to park and uh let my legs do the work, you know what i mean? >> reporter: today, tony is lucky to have the help of angel tirado, a seasonal worker. so, it's angel who delivers dozens of heavy boxes to a garment warehouse. meanwhile, tony minds the truck and gets ready for the next delivery, offering up some tips of the trade: like the importance of making friends in the buildings. >> at least once a week, every one of my freight guys, they're going to get a coffee from me. once in a while, you know, i'll go get like a couple of sandwiches. i mean, they make my life a whole lot easier. i want them liking me! >> reporter: after a while, i persuade tony to let me deliver two packages to a building across the street. that means, i'm also responsible for the diad-- the electronic clipboard tracking all the packages. i have two packages for you. >> great.
>> reporter: and i need you to sign. with that, my visit is over. but tony will be on the job till at least 6 p.m. except lunchtime, of course. that's when he goes to the gym. erika miller, "n.b.r.," new york. >> susie: with holiday spending in high gear, we've got some surprising research from stanford on gift giving, and tips on successful gift ideas. you'll find it on: www.nbr.com. just look for the "nbr-u" tab.
>> susie: american businesses may have their doubts about the u.s. economy but not-- they opened one of the world's largestio gurt processing plants t spent almost half a billion dollars to build the massive facility in twin fall, idaho. and will hire 300 people to work there. they got their start five years ago in new york state and now has revenues of nearly $1 billion. the founder and c.e.o. joins us now, hamdi ulukaya, thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> susie: so this is a real vote of confidence, especially in these tough economic times. why are you doing this big expansion right now? >> well, we trust in our business, we trust in our brand. thio gurt has a very exciting time in america right now, since we started five years ago. but also overall in the economy, if you look at t you know, we never lost confidence in america.
we have some bumpy roads but we think that all things are going to go in a different direction in the next two years and we see it in our own business. >> susie: your business has been growing tremendously fast but there are a lot of other players that are getting into the greekio gurt area from general mills to dannon. what kind of pressure is this going to put on you competitively? >> look,io gurt has been around for long long time. not only in this country but in the world. but unfortunately, you know, we are eating lessio gurt here in america than most of the europe and even canada. sometimes less. this nutrition, pure simplio gurt has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years but somehow is lacking from the diet of americans. and with chobani really people get a chance to taste realio gurt. and i think they are getting more exciting and we believe in the next three, four years as long as we make awesomio gurt, more people will eat and there is room for everybody.
>> susie: you know, you introduced a couple of new snack products from yhobani, the flip, the bite, the tube. what kind of sales are you expecting from this next year? >> we are expecting to go way beyond billion. we have reached close to a billion dollars with our one plant. but i think this growth is going to be same growth as we are asking. we don't put the numbers in place. but we're looking we can double our business in the next couple of years. >> susie: you know, i'm here at the new york stock exchange. how much long certificate it going to be before chobani stock is trading here? >> you know, when we started photograph years ago we got on to the road that we-- this is a joyful journey for all of us. not only for myself, all my colleagues that i started with, which i started with five people, now we are close to 2,000. the communities like twin falls, farmers and workers, we are having such a good time making this awesome product and giving to
everyone in the yes. so i don't have an immediate plan for this type of thing. but we want to put as-- in place so when the time comes and if you think about t we'll make that decision but for now we are focus on making somio gurt. >> susie: we'll be watching you very carefully, thank you so much. we've been speaking with hamdi ulukaya, the c.e.o. of chobani. clearwire accepts $2.2 billion offer from sprint. it gives sprint control over a large pool of wireless spectrum. >> tom: we'll talk more about
that sprint deal, a little later in the program. right now, let's get going with tonight's "market focus." >> tom: the major stock indices saw buying through-out the session with encouraging signs of movement on addressing the fiscal cliff. the s&p 500 spent the entire session in positive territory, closing at a session high, up 1.2%. the gain takes the index to a new post-election high, to its highest level since late october. it's now up more than 13.5% this year. trading volume picked up. 699 million shares on the big board. 1.9 billion traded on the nasdaq. the financial sector led the gains, rising 2.1%. all 10 of the major sectors were up. the consumer discretionary sector rose 1.8%.
utilities were up 1.5%. two giant banks led the way for the financial sector with both citigroup and bank of america hitting their highest prices since the summer of 2011. citigroup jumped 4.1%. shares have been rallying since it announced earlier this month it would cut 11,000 jobs. it is the first major action taken by c.e.o. michael corbat since he took over this summer. bank of america rallied 4%, closing at $11 per share. it consistently is one of the most actively traded stocks, and it was again today. media reports indicate influential banking analyst meredith whiney upgraded her opinion of both bank of america and citigroup today. in addition to the sprint and clearwire deal, there was other monday merger news, and speculation driving stock prices. first, the speculation: general electric reportedly is close to a $4 billion deal for italian aerospace group avio.
according to the wall street journal a deal could be announced thursday. orders for new airplane engines have increased with g.e. looking to buy parts supplies like avio. shares of g.e. gained 1.4% on heavier than usual volume. a.i.g. shares jumped 3% on reports it could sell its stake in the asian life insurer a.i.a. group for as much as $6.5 billion. a.i.g. still owns about a third of the asian company. canada's third largest life insurer, sun life does have a deal to sell its u.s. annuity business. that business has been under pressure thanks to low interest rates and volatile stock markets. it is a $1.35 billion cash deal, selling to delaware life holdings. delaware is owned by private equity firm guggenheim partners. the deal involved 450,000 annuity policies that guarantee minimum levels of lifetime incomes for their owners. the deal helped shares of other insurers in the annuity business.
hartford financial services was up 3.6%. volume almost doubled. caribou coffee will go private. a german investment group has agreed to pay $16 per share for caribou, totaling $340 million dollars. caribou shares shot up 30.7%, closing just above the buyout price. the market thinks a higher offer could be coming. the buyer is the same german group which bought out peet's coffee in october. all five most actively traded exchange traded products were up. the financial sector fund saw the strongest buying, up 2.1%. and that's tonight's "market focus."
>> tom: it was eight years ago this month sprint announced it was buying nextell communications for $35 billion. sprint will wind down the service by next year. today the company announced a new multibillion dollar deal, with sprint agreeing to by the rest of clearwater it doesn't already known. the price tag is $2.97 per share costing sprint $2.2 billion in cash. this leads us to tonight's word on the street, band witt, joe deaux with us with its street.com in new york. joe, if sprint is successful t gets all of clear water but what else does it get? >> what it really gets is clearwire's spectrum. in other words, the airwaves that telecom service wants to have to have most of their cell-phone users be able to talk to one another. they want national coverage. and if they get all of clearwire they're going to have a broader coverage area for those who are subscribed to. >> this increases the technological band width of
sprint to compete getter against verizon wireless and at&t wireless but considering the next tell debacle does sprint have the corporate bandwidth to integrate this and get the deal done? >> the analysts i have spoken to said this won't be like nextel. because the biggest clearwire subscribers are actually already with sprint. whereas n, xtel was a massive company and these analysts are saying back in 2004, they just didn't appreciate what they had to merge, with the number of people that were at nextel with the number of people that are already with sprint. they think this time around because so many with them are actually already with sprint, it might be a smoother transition. >> tom: there is a third party in this deal. and this is softbank of japan. sprint has agreed to sell 70% of itself to that japanese bank. what role did that play in this clearwire deal. >> well, one of the analysts summed it up best. he said softbank walked into this thing and said hey,
listen, we know that if you had the capital before you would have gone and gotten clearwire. now we provide that. they see this as a big pickup. and they also see it as a first ingredient to turning this company around a little bit, to put them on track to compete more with t-mobile and of course the big guys like at&t and verizon. >> tom: to that point we have to talk about sprint shareholders then. what does this clearwire deal do to the outlook of sprint stock tonight, about 5.5 dollars per share? >> well, it depends who you talk to. the analysts in general seem to say well, it's going to be positive for the stock because now they don't have the overhang of well wa, are they going to do with clearwire. but they also have to look in the longer term what is this fourth quarter going to be like? how is the whole telecom sector going react to sales 6 i phones, if there is a high number of sales of i phones, these companies take a massive rebate and they incur that money that is spent on those 800 dollar phones that really come down to $200.
>> tom: and sprint experienced that firsthand in past quarters, dow own shares of sprint yourself, joe? >> i do not, tomorrow. >> tom: joe deaux with us tonight, from thestreet.com. >> susie: tomorrow on "n.b.r." competition in the generic drug market is expected to heat up in 2013, we'll tell you why. and what will it take to resolve the fiscal cliff? we'll ask roger altman, former assistant treasurer from the clinton administration. and finally tonight, christmas is just a week away, and it looks like many of you still have a lot of holiday shopping to do. visa surveyed over a thousand consumers and found 73% have yet to finish their holiday shopping. 16% haven't bought a single gift, and those last minute shoppers will spend an average of $304 in the final days leading up to christmas. and visa says, with this many americans still desperate to buy gifts, we are officially in the danger zone for 'panic shopping'.
i'm happy to tell you tom, i'm not in that zone. that's "nightly business report" for monday, december 17. have a great evening everyone, and you too tom. >> tom: goodnight susie, we'll see you online at: www.nbr.com and back here tomorrow night. captioning sponsored by wpbt captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org